EUGENE, Ore — You could see the disappointment in Madison Jacobs' eyes.
Minutes after placing 18th in the women’s discus throw of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Jacobs, a sophomore at Kentucky and a graduate of Arroyo Grande High School, held back her emotions as long as she could.
Right before Jacobs left the media tent at Hayward Field, a tear streaked down the left side of her face.
“It’s unfortunate, you know,” Jacobs said, finishing with a best throw of 166.2 feet. “I came here last year, I knew what it was like and I knew what I needed to do — that’s the frustrating part.”
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Along with Jacobs, Savannah Camacho, a graduate of Templeton High and sophomore at Oklahoma State, finished eighth in the 800 meter final. Cal Poly junior Danielle Bryan finished tied for 21st in the high jump after failing to clear the bar at 5 feet and 9 ¾ inches.
Friday, during the men’s finals, Camacho could feel the crowd at Hayward field — also known as “Track Town USA.” The energy, she said, was nerve-wracking. She knew that the next day she would be racing in that same atmosphere.
“I wish every runner could experience this type of atmosphere and race with this crowd,” she said. “It was unbelievable.”
Camacho was shocked at how fast the race went by and by her time of 2:09.07 — about seven seconds slower than her personal best. Still, Camacho, a redshirt sophomore, was content after qualifying for the finals and becoming an All-American in the event.
“Now, I’m looking forward to next year, building off this year, placing higher and higher, and hopefully eventually being a national champion,” she said.
Bryan could feel the same energy Camacho felt as she prepared for the high jump. Before each attempt, Bryan would sway back and forth at her starting point, for approximately 30 seconds, trying to calm herself down.
“I’ve only done that in meets where I’m nervous and I have anxiety,” she said. “I needed to pause and get a long breather before I would go.”
Before her last attempt, Bryan said she felt comfortable and relaxed for the first time in the competition. She cleared the bar, but her back foot nicked it enough to knock it down.
She was disappointed after her last jump. But 10 minutes later, watching the rest of the high jump field, Bryan realized how lucky she was to come here.
“It was so much fun coming here and competing at Track Town USA,” she said. “I’d love to come back.”
After coming to Oregon for the finals last year, Jacobs hoped to improve on her 15th place finish. She didn’t, but she still got to stand on a podium and celebrate Saturday. The Kentucky women’s track and field team was the National Champion runner-ups to Oregon.
Jacobs said she was upset that she couldn’t forward any points into the team’s total. Still, she was excited for the success of her team.
“Maybe I couldn’t do it,” she said, “but as a team it’s important to stick together.”